Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Should I call someone? Who? Why? I had no reason to think that any of my immediate family were involved. None of them lived in Har Nof, although many of our friends did and those in the shul could well have been people we know or husbands, sons, brothers of our close friends. There was little reason to pass on the news to those in the hotel with us who were now probably already in bed.

At some point I must have fallen asleep, because I woke up the next morning and immediately knew I had to turn on the computer…but I dreaded it. While I was sleeping peacefully, the levayas of the four kedoshim had taken place on the other side of the world.


As the group of us who were at the hotel gathered together in one of the bedrooms for our own do-it-yourself-kosher-breakfast which we had bought at the supermarket, the talk was of little else. One or two admitted that they had been aware of what happened already during the previous night’s Sheva Brachot but couldn’t decide if it was correct or not to announce it and stop and daven for the victims or if it was wrong to interrupt the celebrations of the chosson and kallah. Even asking a sheilah of the rav who was there would have drawn attention and made secrecy impossible.

No one had any answers – all were numb with the horror. I couldn’t get those images out of my mind – they kept floating across my eyelids whenever I blinked or closed them for a second.

Although we all felt the horror, those of us who actually lived in Israel were drawn together in greater pain. One said to me in shock, “I work with the Rebbetzin Levine. I can’t believe the rav has just been butchered to death.”

This was my last day in LA. My flight home was only hours away. However with the 18-hour flight, a stop over in London and “losing” ten hours, it would be almost 36 hours until I would be back in Jerusalem.

I couldn’t wait to be home. When your family is in trouble it’s no time to be far away.


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Ann Goldberg and her family made aliyah from the UK over 30 years ago and live in Jerusalem. She is a web content writer and writing coach and runs writing workshops and e-mail courses. For more information visit